PDA

View Full Version : Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Calling all non-english natives!



SaraP
07-03-2010, 06:48 PM
As this is the International District, it's only fitting we have a call out to the AW'ers that are not from an english-based country.

Come and introduce yourself to the community, tell us a little about where you live (to make the rest of us jealous, of course :D ) and why you love everyone's favorite writer's forum.

So ... I'll start!

I am Sara, born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. The things I love the most about my country are the food, the wine, the people and the history. I've known a few people that have come to live here for a short time and could not leave. It's the cream pastries. They are addictive. :D

I write mostly in english because that's just how it comes out. I'm glad we subtitle just about all the movies and TV shows here, so I can hear the language constantly.

And why do I love AW so much? Is it even possible not to?

Aheïla
07-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Hi!

My name is Emilie, born and raised in Quebec city, Canada. Despite the fact that my country is supposedly bilingual, it's really English all-around except for the province of Quebec, which is French.
I love the open-mindedness of the people here. I haven't seen much of Canada (it's so big) so I can only talk about my little place. I like Quebec city because it's really like a big village: there's greenery everywhere and you come across people you know quite frequently. While French Canadians are quite often joked about (Celine Dion, anyone?), we stand strong. I like that about us.
But I hate winter. *laughs*

Why do I love AW? It's nice to make some writer friends with whom to discuss the craft. Being a write is too often a lonely thing. ;)

Ehab.Ahmed
07-03-2010, 07:14 PM
Oh, hey there Sara and Aheïla :)

Well, I'm from Saudi Arabia... Actually, I'm from Egypt... On second thought, I'm from Sudan. Okay, my father's from Sudan, my mother's from Egypt, and I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. So take what you will from that ;)

I love Saudi Arabia for it's history, religious atmosphere.... And that's about it. I'm not that fond of here, so... Sorry, no advertisement from me.

Hmm, why I write in English? Well, ever since I learned English by listening (from movies and games believe it or not), some phrases and ideas began to flow better for me in English rather than in Arabic. So, gradually, I began to depend on English more and more, till now I don't write in Arabic unless I absolutely have to, haahaa.

Why I love AW? Guess for the same reason everyone else does ;)

aruna
07-03-2010, 07:19 PM
I am Sharon and I was born and grew up (mostly) in British Guiana, AKA Guyana (post independence). But I've had a very international past so I'm right at home here!

It all began with my travelling for a year, when I was 19, through South America. I had learnt Spanish and French in school and somehow that helped me with Portuguese in Brazil. I love all Latin languages. I'd love to learn Portuguese properly, and Italian, go to those countries. I can't believe I've never been to Italy; it feels so much like home.

I married a German and lived there for a total of about 35 years, which included a year in France. So I speak German more or less fluently though I will never master their adjective endings.

But I also lived a lot in India and have attempted to learn Hindi, but need to learn Tamil because I want to move to South India sometime in the next 5 years. So I guess that qualifies me to move into this district!

I love being international. I love the various perspectives it offers me to life; for instance, no two societies could be more different than Germany and India, and it's great to be able to adapt to both and appreciate both, to learn from both.

ETA: English is actually my first and native and best language. So that's why I write in English -- no big mystery there!

Lauretta
07-03-2010, 07:22 PM
Ciao a tutti!!!

I'm Italian, born and raised in Siracusa, a small village at the very far end of Sicily.
In Italy, we do not have subtitles, everything is translated into Italian, therefore it's very hard to keep up with the English language. That's the reason why I moved to Ireland 5 years ago.
I do miss my own country. I miss the food, the lovely and sunny weather, people, my family and friends.
I write in Italian, to make my creative side happy. I translate into English, sometimes, especially when I need betas.
Aheila I do agree with you, writing is too often a lonely thing, that's why I need to staccare la spina (unplug?) from it from time to time and do something completely different.

Why do I love AW? What's AW??

OneWriter
07-03-2010, 07:25 PM
Hi Sara, thanks for inviting me over!!!
And hi to all of you guys. :hi:

I'm Italian but I was born in the UK and now I live in the US... Between my husband, my two kids and me we were all born in a different Country, which makes it quite interesting!!

I love Italy but frankly I'm glad I don't live there right now... Won't speculate as to why, but if you know a bit about Italy you'll probably easily guess. I do miss mozzarella and stracchino though.... sigh.

Ciao!

ETA: oh, look: cross-posted with Laura!!! Ain't that neat???

aruna
07-03-2010, 07:29 PM
I have a lot of half-Italian friends and my granddaughter is one-sixteenth Italian -- her mother's grandmother is from Sicily! So it's high time for me to go there...

maestrowork
07-03-2010, 07:59 PM
Hi!

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, even though I've been an American citizen for over almost 15 years now. I came to the US by myself for college with only two suitcases. I never left. :)

backslashbaby
07-03-2010, 08:37 PM
I'm loving this!

I'm just a Southern girl, but I love different cultures and languages.

I did live in Hungary for a little while, and in Costa Rica for a bit with my aunt and uncle. I flew back and forth between the US and the UK for an Oxford degree I received last Spring (computers, not languages). Got the tattoo to commemorate that in Dublin :D

I was the tech support for Sara Lee Int'l for Latin America, Haiti and Canada, and I have also studied German. So nice to see you all!!

10trackers
07-03-2010, 09:01 PM
Hiiiii all!

I'm from the Netherlands *ducks objects thrown by Brazilians* and live in a beautiful rural area because I hate cities :D My dogs love it here, and I love the peace and quiet. I am a professional translator/copywriter/editor even though I have a MSc in Biology. I don't know why :D

Why do I love AW? Because it's a veritable font of knowledge, it's mostly filled with awesome people and people are generally wittier and more well-spoken than on other forums :D I feel right at home :2angel:

aruna
07-03-2010, 09:14 PM
Sara, have you invited truelyana? She's Portuguese too...

Eddyz Aquila
07-03-2010, 09:26 PM
Hi everyone :)

My name is Edward, I'm from Romania, and I've been at it with English since I was 3. Gap year now to pursue my writing passion and then off to university in Europe, don't know where yet.

J'aime bien AW because it's the best place to enjoy the company of other writers, and to get a thicker skin :D Honestly, I'd rather get the kicks from fellow AWers and then enjoy the fruits of my writing than get the kicks from agents and enjoy...nothing?

Lauretta
07-03-2010, 09:52 PM
Aw sooo many people!!! We have to celebrate!!!

http://georgetown.lombardispizzaonline.com/ordereze/images/items/IMAGE14.JPG

maxmordon
07-03-2010, 10:07 PM
It's the cream pastries. They are addictive. :D

You know there's usually a stereotypical job depending on your origins, like Italians are barbers and so on? Here, Portuguese people are bakers. :P

Thump
07-03-2010, 10:07 PM
Hi, my real first name is Chantal (but don't go telling everyone ;) ). I'm half-French and half-Uruguayan. I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay but I've lived on almost every continent since.

I grew up travelling 'cause my mother works for the French Embassy (not a diplomat though, sadly, I can't commit any crimes with impunity :( ). I lived in Uruguay, Guatemala, India, Canada, Peru and now I'm living in England (on my own now that I'm a grown-up). I loved growing up like that. Yeah I had to start over again and again but I considered this a good thing. I could reinvent myself, anything embarassing I had done was unknown to my new schoolmates and I got to see dozens of exotic places, meet people with very different backgrounds and eat food I can't name.

It's also made rather socially inept in some ways :P

I love AW because I enjoy intelligent conversation and the curiosity that everyone here displays. I live surrounded by people with little or no imagination and no curiosity about other people.

maxmordon
07-03-2010, 10:10 PM
Venezuelan here, born and raised. What I love about my country is simply the people; a beautiful mix-mash of three very different origins boiling down to make a very special kind of folks. :)

Why do I love AW? For the people as well, hehe. Sometimes I forget people are not usually as well savvy of media as the people of AW is.

aruna
07-03-2010, 10:27 PM
Re Portuguese:
there's a very strong Portuguese element in Guyana. They are mostly businesspeople. When I was growing up they were second highest on the racial hierarchie, after White. Yep, they didn't count as White. The Whites came to British Guiana as the ruling elite, the Portuguese were "only" labourers. But they couldn't take the heat and the dust and so were replaced by Chinese, and then by Indians.
So that's your history lesson for today!

Lauretta
07-03-2010, 10:34 PM
like Italians are barbers and so on?

Italians are barbers? Is it due to Il Barbiere di Siviglia?

maxmordon
07-03-2010, 10:47 PM
Re Portuguese:
there's a very strong Portuguese element in Guyana. They are mostly businesspeople. When I was growing up they were second highest on the racial hierarchie, after White. Yep, they didn't count as White. The Whites came to British Guiana as the ruling elite, the Portuguese were "only" labourers. But they couldn't take the heat and the dust and so were replaced by Chinese, and then by Indians.
So that's your history lesson for today!

In the ancient Venezuelan hierarchy, Spaniards were the ruling elite but if their children were educated here instead of Spain, they were considered another class, lower than then where the poor Spaniards. The independence was a conflict between the ruling Spaniards and the Spaniards settled here.

maxmordon
07-03-2010, 10:50 PM
Italians are barbers? Is it due to Il Barbiere di Siviglia?

No idea, but doesn't make much sense since Seville is in Spain. But I think it comes from the turn-of-the-century immigrants along with the less famous one of Italian grocers.

Lauretta
07-03-2010, 11:13 PM
No idea, but doesn't make much sense since Seville is in Spain.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia is a famous Italian opera buffa, by Gioacchino Rossini, based on a French comedy. As I never heard that Italians are like barbers I thought it was because of that.


But I think it comes from the turn-of-the-century immigrants along with the less famous one of Italian grocers.

Interesting to know how Italians are seen all over the world. Here in Ireland it's all about food. Most of fish-and-chips shops were opened by Italians who made a lot of money out of it!!!
We do not have fish-and-chips shops in Italy though...

SaraP
07-03-2010, 11:49 PM
Here, Portuguese people are bakers. :P

We have a very big baking tradition. I know it's not very well known around the world and it's not like I've tried a lot of foreign baking, but there's no baking like ours.

History lesson: back in the middle ages, when the people donated foods to the gazzillion convents around the country, one of the foods the nuns received in excess was eggs. What better way to use them up than in baking? This explains a) why our baking is so rich - several convents came up with exclusive treats, b) why so many of our recipes use an absurd amount of eggs/yolks (one recipe calls for 30 yolks - and they are soooooo good) and c) why they are so yellow.

Pastéis de nata:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/228/458319636_ec7699ce2a.jpg

Tortas de Azeitão:

http://www.saboresdeazeitao.com/doces/tortas.gif

And my personal favorite - Dom Rodrigo:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UoHsqFEgjQo/SaCQdn-dSTI/AAAAAAAADOI/XWt35P_AzhE/s400/Dom_Rodrigo.jpg

I think I'm going to ask Mac for a drooling smilie. :D

Xelebes
07-03-2010, 11:54 PM
Il Barbiere di Siviglia is a famous Italian opera buffa, by Gioacchino Rossini, based on a French comedy. As I never heard that Italians are like barbers I thought it was because of that.

No idea but I've always known Italians as grocers, especially in the United States.

Dawnstorm
07-04-2010, 01:17 AM
Hi, folks.

I'm Austrian. Austrians often gain world fame... once they leave Austria.

My name's Edward, even though the German version of that name is Eduard. I have no English-speaking ancesty; my parents (Austrian mom, Croatian Dad) just liked the English version better. I suppose that would have drawn my attention to English from an early age.

Do I like living in Austria? Don't know. I'm used to it. Politically, I'm fond of Austria's Neutrality (it's symbolic, really, since our army isn't going to make much of a difference either way). I'm not so fond of our role in World War II, but that's what's given us our Neutrality and that's pretty much the only thing that unifies Austria. Culturally, we're very diverse, with dialects changing every three kilometres or so. ;) I like our mountainous areas the most; rocks and trees. For the most part, I don't like the Austrian cuisine; either too sweet or too much fat.

I'm fluent in German and English. I've had four years of Italian in school, which allows me to read with the help of a dictionary, and to have simple conversations. I've also had Latin lessons - which helps with the Italian, but also other romance languages. At university I took two semesters of Japanese, out of curiosity mostly; I was too lazy to be any good at it (though I'm slowly picking up stuff from watching anime). I'm not as good at Croation (my dad's language) as I should be, which is embarrassing.

It's always fascinating to read where people have lived. I can't imagine moving much - not because I'm attached to where I live (letting go would be comparatively easy), but because I'm generally having trouble settling into a new environment. Which is why I like to keep moving in my holidays abroad. I'm an odd mixture of a hermit and a nomad, either extreme is okay for me - but I can't stand the middle ground (moving).

I'm not sure what to expect of this place, but I already love the atmosphere. I'll expect to be lurking in the shadows, mostly.

Diver
07-04-2010, 01:46 AM
Hi all,

My name’s José Miguel, a Chilean born bum with two beautiful daughters who take after my wife (thus the beautiful). :)

I picked up my English from a 2 year plus sojourn in Israel when I was a kid (Tabeetha School anyone? – there is always someone).

I started heavy reading around those times – my first ever English book was IT. When I came back to Chile I continued reading in English. It is really no wonder I got into the habit of writing in that language as well.

I live in Santiago, an hour way from the mountains and 1 ½ hours from the beach. You can go skiing one day and diving the next. I love it.

Some distinctive features about my country include the wine and astronomy. We just came from a year way in France, which made us realize another distinctive treat of our country: the people.

By the by, should anyone for whatever reason need any kind of help with Spanish (or Chile for that matter), don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Griesmeel
07-04-2010, 02:58 AM
First of: great, big Muito Obrigado to Sara for the invite.
Next: Hi all!

Contrary to what's displayed on the left my name is Jos. (Griesmeel, Dutch for semolina, a nickname I got eating a plate of porridge, sort of rimes with my surname)
I was born and raised in the Netherlands (Hiya 10trackers! :) ) but have recently moved to Portugal (Hiya Sara! :) ) to move in with a wonderful Belarusian girlfriend in Lisbon.

I basically grew up with English on television, everything subtitled. Then in highschool the compulsory booklist for my English exams were so much more interesting than the Dutch one that I stuck with reading in English pretty much exclusively. Of my other language classes German sort of stuck but French never managed to get me interested.
Leaning Portuguese now is tricky, but I think I should just get out more. :)

I studied at a merchant marine academy when the Iron Curtain came down so, via some menial jobs, I ended up a server administrator. Last year, thoroughly fed up with office life and unable to get a job just yet, I moved and am now living of the sale of my house. Not entirely sure how my professional life will look in, say, three years but now I'm taking a serious swing at being a writer

Liking AW is easy, everything you ever wanted to know about writing and were not afraid to ask, and all that in good humour, pleasantly civilized.

alleycat
07-04-2010, 03:11 AM
Just a note to the moderators.

A few months back we had a casual but serious thread in another forum about the differences in language in the UK and the US. It generally concerned what terms were used for what on either side of the ocean.

It might be appropriate to move that thread to this forum, even though this forum is primarily for non-English speaking issues. People from elsewhere might want to learn more about the differences in what things are called in the UK vs. the US. To tell you the truth, I've forgotten what forum it was in, but I could find it easily enough.

Fenika
07-05-2010, 12:48 PM
I was born and raised in the USA, but I'm fully Polish. I am currently visiting family, which mostly live in north Czech, and rather enjoying improving my Polish and traveling around.

I was raised bilingually, but only recently took to studying written Polish seriously.

I love AW for it is AW. :)

Torill
07-05-2010, 03:57 PM
I live in Oslo, Norway, just at the edge of the wonderful forests where I love to walk in all kinds of weather. And just half an hour by train to downtown Oslo too boot. That's what I like the most about my country, it's great for outdoor life.

I also like the fact that we have a stable democracy, a stable economy (I saw an overview of the economical situation in Europe these days - doesn't look good - but we were the only country with no 'red numbers' - no debts. Let's hope it will last - if the rest of Europe go down the drains, I guess we will too...) with a welfare policy that works (or, mostly, most of the time...).

Which doesn't mean everything here is perfect, very far from it! I could list a lot of drawbacks, but since this is a sort of promotion thread, I won't. Mostly, I do love my country. :)

Don't think the food here is much to recommend, though - with some exceptions - cured meat with sour cream in 'lefse' is very tasty. So that's not why you would want to come and visit. Tourists usually complain about the price level, too. But you know, wages are high as well compared to many other places - so it's not as expensive to us, relatively speaking...

As for culture - we are a reading nation. I saw some statistics about this, too, somewhere - people here are supposed to buy more books than most. And be members of all kinds of strange organisations - social life used to be centered around these volunteer organisations more than clubs and bars, which could make it a bit difficult for strangers to get to know us - but I believe this is about to change.

@Mie - Hi! I've just posted an answer in the Norwegian thread you made. Your place sounds wonderful! I have a different opinion than yours on our native language, though - to me, it's not stiff and formal at all! We have some truly great Norwegian writers, imho. Which of course begs the question: why do I write in English?

Well - I'm not sure I know. Except I started writing fanfiction (Harry Potter related, by the way) in English, since I read the books in English and posted in English language fan forums. My current WIP kind of grew out of that. It was not a conscious choice - I mean nothing like 'Norwegian is not good enough for me'. In fact, I hate it when people import too many English words into our language, when there are perfectly good Norwegian equivalents. But by now, my WIP has developed too far in English for me to restart it in Norwegian. Just one of those things... :shrugs:

As for this place - I just recently stumbled upon it, but it looks great: friendly, fun and full of interesting discussions about writing. Just the right mix between intelligence and silliness. Chances are I'll make this my new home online.

JaggedJimmyJr
07-05-2010, 04:02 PM
Pastéis de nata:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/228/458319636_ec7699ce2a.jpg



That is just delicious. I've had the chance eat a few *cough* dozens *cough* when I visited Macau. They messed up my stomach a little (I don't have any problem blaming it all on my gluttony and other dozen different things I tasted that day...) but it was worth it. :)

About me; Well, I'm Turkish and I learned English at a relatively old age, during my preparation year at the university. It took a lot cursing and hair pulling but I think I got through the hard part. Reading the books I loved in their original language was a great motivation.

I like AW (though I'm kind of a lurker mostly.) for its community, and the members' willingness to share their experience and patience for the "newbies" like me. :)

Maxinquaye
07-05-2010, 04:39 PM
My name is Max, and I'm swedish. Currently I reside in Sweden, and enjoy that time of writing called unemployment - you wouldn't believe how effective it is for me to write stuff when I don't have to juggle a schedule.

However, I consider myself a UK resident - even though my memories of London is starting to get a little stale. I'm trying to get back there after living in that city for nealy three years.

I write in English, for the UK market, primarily. When I work I tend to work in the news-industry, but given the state of that industry I suspect I will have a career change when I do get a new job.

aruna
07-05-2010, 07:06 PM
I'm really impressed with the level of English of you "furriners". Even after living over 30 years in Germany, I still make far too many German mistakes. You guys seem perfect!

SaraP
07-05-2010, 07:53 PM
I lived in the USA when I was a kid for three years, in a fairly small town. I had no choice but to learn the language. After we returned it was easy keeping up with it. I also prefer to read in english. So, not very hard for me. I pass as a native most times, some even think I'm an expat or something.

Dave Willhoite
07-06-2010, 12:38 AM
Hi Sara,

I am afraid that I don't qualify for this thread.

I was born in Mississippi, and raised by a native English speaker.

I pretty much live in Bayrisch now, however. It's one of the reasons I became a hobby writer. I need to keep my English skills.

Dave

OneWriter
07-06-2010, 07:48 AM
Wow... I just stopped by to look again at this forum and it's growing so fast! Kudos for such a brilliant idea, AW is now truly without boundaries. The threads in all different languages, alphabets and ideographs are fascinating!

Torill
07-06-2010, 11:06 AM
Hi Sara,

I am afraid that I don't qualify for this thread.


Why not? You do share the 'international' experience, and the 'foreigner' status... So welcome to the thread! :welcome:

aruna
07-06-2010, 11:18 AM
Herzlich willkommen!

DrZoidberg
07-06-2010, 12:09 PM
Hej alla. Jäg är från Svärje.

I'm Swedish, even though I have plenty of extended family from and in England, and some in Scotland. I still consider myself fully Swedish, and I still live here.

I see all language primarily as a tool for communication, where the goal is to be understood as well as possible by the target audience. My target audience is thinly dispersed all over the globe. Almost to two billion people can read and write English. 10 million can read and write Swedish. Available quality books in either language follow this ratio. Not to mention books on writing. So when I started focusing on writing seriously, I chose very early on to drop Swedish completely as a focus. It's so far proven to be a wise strategy.

I'm considering moving to Australia though. I'm pretty sick of the cold, and I've got a good job offer down there. Another, and pretty major reason, is to be able to join face-to-face English speaking writer's clubs. We just don't have them here. They're all in Swedish.

That said, Sweden is a really nice place to live. It's super safe, and super clean with lots of forest around the corner. No guns and no poisonous animals to worry about. And we've got lots of tall blondes.

aruna
07-06-2010, 12:16 PM
A question to all: how many of you have children, and did you raise them bi-lingual? Were you yourself raised bi-lingual? I find bi-lingualism of prime importance. People with two or more languages are the actual, and only, bridges between societies that speak different languages. They are the ones that draw communities together. It's so sad that in England today a second language is no longer compulsory in school.

In that connection I highly recommend the book The Lieutenant, by Kate Grenville. It's about a man who was one of the first pioneers from England to Australia, who set himself the task of learning the aboriginal language. It's fascinating -- and based on a true story.

Sophia
07-06-2010, 01:21 PM
Were you yourself raised bi-lingual?

My brother and I were raised bilingual. Our parents spoke Urdu with us until nursery school age, at which point Dad would speak with us in English. This is in the UK, so we watched English TV. I don't remember not being able to understand English, but I know from family anecdotes that there was an age when I couldn't speak it, and nursery teachers, for example, had to rely on my expression to know I needed to go to the bathroom. There are tapes of me and my brother babbling in Urdu to each other when very young, but now we speak together only in English.

One thing we didn't think was strange until someone pointed it out much later was that we have bilingual conversations with Mum, even now. We speak to her in English, she replies in Urdu. It's how it's always been for as long as I can remember.

Griesmeel
07-06-2010, 02:43 PM
Ineresting topic Aruna, for me personally. I'm Dutch and have moved to Portugal to be with my Belarusian girlfriend. We have the definite intention to have a child, ahem.... working on that... :e2cloud9:
Anyway, for quite some time we are talking about that we might end up with a quadlingual (is that a word?) child. I will talk in Dutch with it, my girlfriend Russian, me and my girlfriend together talk English and then kindergarten will take care of Portuguese. We are considering to hire a Chinese nanny. :)

Of course, all the experience that will be so kindly shared here will help us out when the time comes, and hey, I might even write a book about it. :)
I will be a very interested bystander for the time being.
Thanks.

Torill
07-06-2010, 03:02 PM
No, sadly no children and now I'm too old for that. But everybody should learn at least one foreign language in school. To be able to think in more than one language is good for your understanding of the world, because every language will parse the experienced world in slightly different ways. Anyone trying to translate from one language to another will know that. Which means that every language dying out is a loss to the world.

Which also means that reading your reasons for writing in English made me a little sad, DrZoidberg. I may sound like a hypocrite though, because I write in English myself... so yeah - feel free to mock and/or ignore me. (But not because I think communicating in Norwegian to Norwegians only is not good enough. It just sort of happened that way...) I would be very sad if no one ever published a book in Swedish again. I think it's a beautiful language - sometimes I think it is even stronger and more beautiful than Norwegian....

I don't mean to criticise you though. Your writing, your choices. And I do mean that.

DrZoidberg
07-06-2010, 03:33 PM
No, sadly no children and now I'm too old for that. But everybody should learn at least one foreign language in school. To be able to think in more than one language is good for your understanding of the world, because every language will parse the experienced world in slightly different ways. Anyone trying to translate from one language to another will know that. Which means that every language dying out is a loss to the world.


I agree but that doesn't really have any bearing on why I chose to write in English. Not having English as one's first language, is de facto a handicap in today's highly interconnected world. At least if you're a writer with international ambitions. The English market is larger than any other. I would personally have preferred having Swedish as a second language. That doesn't mean it dies out, and it doesn't make me less Swedish.



Which also means that reading your reasons for writing in English made me a little sad, DrZoidberg. I may sound like a hypocrite though, because I write in English myself... so yeah - feel free to mock and/or ignore me. (But not because I think communicating in Norwegian to Norwegians only is not good enough. It just sort of happened that way...) I would be very sad if no one ever published a book in Swedish again. I think it's a beautiful language - sometimes I think it is even stronger and more beautiful than Norwegian....

I don't mean to criticise you though. Your writing, your choices. And I do mean that.

I don't really get the nostalgia for languages. Maybe I'm just not patriotic enough? Or maybe I've studied way too much philosophy and maths? Maybe Sweden hasn't a history of occupation and being under the thumb of empires? But I see language primarily as a tool for communication. As far as I'm concerned English is just a better tool. I can reach more people. English is arguably also linguistically more flexible than Swedish. I don't still use my first mobile phone, heavy as a brick and with almost no functions because the my Android is a better tool. Same deal with language.

I'm not a fan of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. I just don't buy it. When a tiny language dies, it was for a good reason. I get the scientific/linguistic reason for wanting to preserve old languages. I love studying linguistics and the history of languages. But I personally have no interest in adopting obsolete languages and practices for the sake of science alone. If other people willingly want to make themselves into linguistic guinea-pigs I'm very grateful. But I won't. I want to be a successful writer. And considering the fact that you write in English too, seems to be your attitude as well... isn't it?

Maxinquaye
07-06-2010, 06:10 PM
I was raised bilingually - though only between Norwegian and Swedish. Still, I guess some thing in my head got turned on, and I have a really easy time learning languages. Well, at least I used to. I don't know if my head is getting properly fossilized yet to stop that, and I haven't really tried to learn a new language in a decade or so :D

Like Zoidberg I write in English primarily for convenience, and for marketing. There's 60 million or so people in the UK, and 9 million or so in Sweden. The market's just a bit bigger. And maybe, just maybe, there will be an aggregate market of 300-500 million if my writing is successful enough in the UK.

And, fundamentally, Swedish is quite similar to English in a basic level. English isn't hard to learn for a Swede. The languages are quite closely related, I guess.

SaraP
07-06-2010, 07:48 PM
I was raised in portuguese only but when we moved to the US I had no choice but to learn english. The place we moved to was basically a community built around the university and many foreign students brought their families over. That meant a few foreign kids at school so every single public school there had a teacher whose sole purpose was to teach english to those kids.

Learning english for me was fairly easy. By Christmas I had grasped the basics and by Easter I was speaking well. I didn't need special classes any more after that one year. At home we always spoke in portuguese.

When we returned, I started two foreign languages in school, one being english (where I usually knew more than the teacher) and the other french. Two years later we only had to do one language. Even though english would be better for my average, I chose french; I ended up with a total of 4 years of french in high school. Reading my dad's huge franco-belgian comic book collection has been one way of not losing the language entirely. ;)

Fast forward a bunch of years and now I have two kids. I try to do english at home but it's not easy. They always speak in portuguese and I forget to reply in english. My youngest specifically asks me not to speak in english. I have to make a very conscious effort to keep at it. My reasoning is that even though they don't really speak it, something stays in there and that is always a good thing.

I've heard/read that languages are easiest to learn when you're a kid, as that's when your brain is more permeable to that information. After adolescence, certain rewiring makes it harder to learn and it gets worse as you age. This is why those who have the opportunity to raise children in a bilingual environment should do so.

Griesmeel, I have met two moms raising children in trilingual environments: one was a hindi, english and portuguese combo, the other was a finnish, french and portuguese combo. These kids tend to learn to talk later than their peers but the end result is so very much worth it.

ETA: Forgot to add I write in english mainly because that's how it comes out. I think my muse is american. :D

aruna
07-06-2010, 08:17 PM
I raised my son bi-lingual from the start. We lived in Germany so all I did was always speak English to him. It was more difficult with my daughter, since their dad had moved in with me by then and he doesn't speak English, so asked me to speak German at home, and I quickly got into the habit. SO my duaghter knew only German at first.
When she was ten we moved to England. I sent her to school in the day and when she was at home continued to speak German with her. I left it to the school to teach her English.
One day after about six months I overheard her chatting on the phone with a friend: in perfect English! From then onwards I switched to English.
Her German slipped through lack of practice, and now she can understand it well but avoids speaking or reading it. English is just like her first language; in fact, of all her friends, she got the best English result in her GCSE exams when she was 16.
So yes, childhood is the best time to learn.

Said The Sun
07-07-2010, 12:29 AM
I was born in the States and moved to Portugal when I was ten. I lived ten years there and now came back for more. I like to say I have two mother languages, two mother-lands, two flags, two menus, two minds. And these are my two cents.

Freelancer
07-07-2010, 05:08 AM
I did live in Hungary for a little while

Then greetings from Hungary. :) I'm from Budapest, Hungary. Due to my previous jobs, I've worked and / or lived in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy (And few other countries in the E.U.). But somehow I always got back to Hungary. It's my beloved home after all. For me, it's the safest place on Earth, far away from tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes. It's a little sacred land with the best climate. :)

backslashbaby
07-07-2010, 05:47 AM
Then greetings from Hungary. :) I'm from Budapest, Hungary. Due to my previous jobs, I've worked and / or lived in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy (And few other countries in the E.U.). But somehow I always got back to Hungary. It's my beloved home after all. For me, it's the safest place on Earth, far away from tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes. It's a little sacred land with the best climate. :)

Koszi (with accents - sorry!)! On the weekends, I lived in Budapest! Right across from the St. Stephen's statue on Vaci utca :) I love Budapest very much. During the week I lived in Baja. Also very lovely. Hungarians are special people :)

Freelancer
07-07-2010, 06:06 AM
Koszi (with accents - sorry!)!
Nagyon szivesen (You're welcome.). :) And no problem.


I love Budapest very much. During the week I lived in Baja. Also very lovely. Hungarians are special people :)
I'm gladly hear your opinion about us and my little country. This means a lot to me.


Right across from the St. Stephen's statue on Vaci utca :)
So you lived right in the downtown, in the beautiful fifth district. That's a nice place. I live in the first district, Castle Hill, right under the shadow of the castle. :)

backslashbaby
07-07-2010, 06:16 AM
Nagyon szivesen (You're welcome.). :) And no problem.


I'm gladly hear your opinion about us and my little country. This means a lot to me.


So you lived right in the downtown, in the beautiful fifth district. That's a nice place. I live in the first district, Castle Hill, right under the shadow of the castle. :)

The Castle was my favorite area, I think :)

I worked with an American/European manufacturing startup in Baja, and got to use the corporate apartment on Vaci street unless a bigwig had it that weekend ;) We had the best view of the fireworks there!

Freelancer
07-07-2010, 06:30 AM
We had the best view of the fireworks there!
The fireworks is always beautiful. I also love the air race above the Danube and the usual air show prior the fireworks.

For the fireworks my favorite spot was the top of the Chain Bridge, but then the government order came... climb up to the top of the bridge is prohibited until further notice... (Hundreds watched the fireworks from there years ago. That was the best place. But orders are orders, plus the air race came and the Chain bridge became a restricted area as the start and the finish line is right beneath the bridge.).

mario_c
07-07-2010, 06:43 AM
I'm very glad AW opened this forum! After having always wanted to learn a foreign language while adopting a second job nagging writers to improve their English, this is a good way to get the treatment from the other direction, so to speak. And yes I traveled around Europe as a younger man, and would always get replies in English if I tried to practice the language wherever I was at. "You must be an American..."

cuddlekins
07-07-2010, 03:02 PM
A question to all: Were you yourself raised bi-lingual?

I was raised bi-lingual. Rather had to learn two languages apart from English to be able to communicate with my grandparents.

I was born in Honolulu to a Puerto Rican mum and a second gen. British Indian dad.
Dad's parents didn't speak English well (though they have lived in England a long long time), so had to learn Hindi as a child to be able to talk to them.
And Mum's parents didn't speak English as well, so had to learn Spanish to talk to them.

And I was raised in London, though spent my summer hols in USA with Mum and her family.

aruna
07-07-2010, 03:24 PM
Lucky you! Those are my favourite languages!

Diver
07-07-2010, 08:41 PM
…About bilingual upbringing:

All in all, I love languages (my wife speaks four; I barely manage three). It’s always fun to hop from one to the other. It turns out there are some things better said in one particular language.

But now we are limiting the languages we speak at home.

We lived in Bordeaux for a year, and my eldest daughter (a year + old at the time) started learning French. When we came back home to Chile, we kept dropping her sentences in French in between Spanish. This worked out ok until she entered playgroup at an English school last march…

Now she says stuff like: ‘Attendez, cantemos “bah bah black sheep”, merci’ :e2cry: :heart:

I melt down every time she does this but unfortunately it does not work well with other children; least of all the teachers, who have trouble understanding her. To be honest, she has problems with her pronunciation. There are just too many ways to say/use a single word.

Example: “Bus – Bus –Bus” in “Spanish – English – French”. And the derived “bus escolar”, “school bus”, etc.

Of course, there are other issues associated with her speech development. Even though kids are resilient, she has dealt with too many things at once: terrible twos, first ever sister, new country/house, new language, first ever school…

So for now we'll take it easy and try to concentrate in Spanish… :(


PS: I have trouble with my pronunciation too. Example “1 dollar” is pronounced “1 buck”…. :tongue

backslashbaby
07-07-2010, 08:57 PM
Now she says stuff like: ‘Attendez, cantemos “bah bah black sheep”, merci’

I love that sentence! :D I have the same problem because I had all my language classes back-to-back with no individual immersion till later. I especially tend to think of Spanish and French as one lump, using words from each.

SaraP
07-07-2010, 09:05 PM
Diver, it's not uncommon for bilingual kids to mix up languages in the same sentence - they eventually sort things out. I remember my oldest was a particular fan of the word bus because the alternative in portuguese - autocarro - is quite a mouthful.

I can understand your decision to drop the language thing. One thing you might want to try is focus a bit on songs in french. Have a look at www.uptoten.com. Both my kids love it and for you, since your daughter is in an english school, she might get a kick out of the english songs and learning the french version as well. Hope this helps. :Hug2:

For all of you: have you had a look at the game idea? Let me know what you think. ;)

Eddyz Aquila
07-07-2010, 10:05 PM
I was raised up bilingual. My parents thought it was a good idea to pressure my kindergarten to bring in an English teacher when I was in my first year, so that sparked my interest. Then I kept at it, got my CPE (Cambridge Proficiency) at 14 and then off to a boarding school where I was speaking English every day. With the creative award in my hand after it was over, now I'm off to publish my first book :)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-07-2010, 10:54 PM
Diver, one issue here may be that you and your wife both speak to her in multiple languages. Several studies suggest that putting each language in its own context makes it easier for the child's brain to separate them.

Diver
07-07-2010, 11:54 PM
SaraP: Many thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check it out.
Liosse de Velishaf: You are absolutely right.

Without the intention of derailing the thread...

Furthermore, we where told the little one needs order. In every sense. The root of the problem lies in the many changes she has gone through (new home, new sister, new school, new family, etc). This goes beyond the use of a particular language; it is just compounded by it. Anyway, it’s nothing serious if we as parents handle it properly. I just wanted to share my own experience apropos of international experiences and bilingual upbringing. It does have its many ups and few downs.

So back to the thread, I’m thrilled this forum opened up. I just may find the excuse to sneak around AW a little bit more? :D

... Although, for now, I should be going back to work. :tongue

SaraP
07-07-2010, 11:58 PM
So back to the thread, I’m thrilled this forum opened up. I just may find the excuse to sneak around AW a little bit more? :D

Heh, any excuse reason is good enough to hang around AW. :D

Dannie
07-08-2010, 05:21 AM
Sara invited me if it applies. Well, I am an American but have lived in Thailand for the past 6 years. I speak Thai now-- still have a lot to learn-- and also can read some Thai. I have lived in Budapest for a short time, Marshall Islands- two years and many different places in the US. I was born and raised in the south and always found people from other lands interesting! I am part Cherokee Indian, Great grandmother was full Cherokee and as a child I would tell everyone I met even when my family tried to make me stop I wouldn't.
I have always enjoyed talking to people from other parts of the world, especially the women-- and I don't mean that in a bad or wrong way. They are just easier to talk to for me. And usually more truthful.

Thanks for inviting me. If you ever need any help in speaking 'Southern" Let me know.

Dannie

Liosse de Velishaf
07-08-2010, 07:51 AM
Heh. Welcome, Dannie. I'm part Cherokee as well, maybe even the same amount. Don't know Thai, though. ;)

truelyana
07-08-2010, 04:25 PM
Thanks so much for the warm invitation Sara. :)

That is wonderful that an International thread has been introduced.

I was also born in Lisbon, and grew up in the Borough of Sintra (17km) away from Lisbon in a little town which didn't have a building to be seen then as everyone lived off their land, and now the area is looking more like a city. I moved to London in the UK at 8 and a half, and have been here ever since.

I didn't speak a word of English beforehand, and I adapted well in school as had a separate teacher then, when in class. I also attended Portuguese schooling after English school, as my parents believed it was important to continue with it and keep my Portuguese language active. I have always spoken Portuguese with my parents.

As an adult sometimes I still find myself forgetting words, but it helps to be around Portuguese speaking people for the language to ignite. I even forget what some English words are sometimes, as I only know the basic English. I am fascinated and curious by words which I have never heard of and that tends to happen more in the English Language then the Portuguese.

As a youngster I loved writing in Portuguese, and later English peeked in and now I write all in English but I still love to read Portuguese, as I find the language moving and straight to the heart, which is my kind of writing.

My parents and I have always returned to Portugal every year for a month during the summer when I had holidays as a child. Originally we would fly there, and later as I got older (perhaps 10) we would take a car and drive to Portugal through France, Spain. It only took one night and one day but it was usually very tiring, and beautiful with the scenic routes.

I return on my own to Portugal every year, and when I can now either to visit the country or family. I feel appreciative of both countries as for me I am happy anywhere, and I enjoy discovering new ways of being and living.

Interestingly, the person I have been involved with 8 years now has always been fascinated by Portugal before they met me, and I taught them the basic Portuguese and they speak the basic well and understand the language. My partner's family is originally from Cyprus and so I started learning the basic Greek. They don't speak Greek themselves at home, but I always feel it's wonderful to understand the root of other cultures by learning their language.

It is wonderful to be on a multi-cultural forum, filled with such diversity and wide range of experiences. :)




I am Sara, born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. The things I love the most about my country are the food, the wine, the people and the history. I've known a few people that have come to live here for a short time and could not leave. It's the cream pastries. They are addictive. :D

I write mostly in english because that's just how it comes out.

Small world, and it is amazing just to be born and grow up somewhere different. :)

Whereabouts in Lisbon did you grew up?


Sara, have you invited truelyana? She's Portuguese too...

Thank you Aruna. :) I am here now. :D


We have a very big baking tradition. I know it's not very well known around the world and it's not like I've tried a lot of foreign baking, but there's no baking like ours.

History lesson: back in the middle ages, when the people donated foods to the gazzillion convents around the country, one of the foods the nuns received in excess was eggs. What better way to use them up than in baking? This explains a) why our baking is so rich - several convents came up with exclusive treats, b) why so many of our recipes use an absurd amount of eggs/yolks (one recipe calls for 30 yolks - and they are soooooo good) and c) why they are so yellow.

Pastéis de nata:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/228/458319636_ec7699ce2a.jpg

Tortas de Azeitão:

http://www.saboresdeazeitao.com/doces/tortas.gif

And my personal favorite - Dom Rodrigo:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UoHsqFEgjQo/SaCQdn-dSTI/AAAAAAAADOI/XWt35P_AzhE/s400/Dom_Rodrigo.jpg

I think I'm going to ask Mac for a drooling smilie. :D

Delicious cakes indeed! There is so much variety of cakes in Portugal, it is extremely mesmorising and they vary from area to area.

In the UK they call the 'pasteis de nata' custard cakes! It's amazing what the variations of translations are available. I'm more drawn to the 'bolo de arroz' also known as rice cake, or rice muffin;

http://tinypic.com/68xbev.jpg

I also enjoy cakes from the North of Portugal as my mum is originally from Geres, and although my dad lived most of his life in Lisbon he was also born in the same place my mum was. :) We would travel to the North to see my grandparents and also had many cousins up there and enjoy the 'festas' (parties) in the parish towns with much festivities and food.

I like 'formigos' which translates ants. Not sure what it's called in English. It's made with bread, honey, cinammon, lemon peel, egg and other alternative ingredients if you wish. It's a matter of rolling up the bread with all the ingredients and then putting it in the fridge.

http://sol.sapo.pt/photos/olindagil4/images/1642674/original.aspx

I also like 'rabanadas' which is made similar to American toast, with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top and the bread dipped in egg and milk, and then fried. Recently fried over 200 for a multicultural cooking event!

http://www.esec-eca-queiros-lsb.rcts.pt/mpei/rabanadas.jpg

They are one of the Christmas deserts used by the Portuguese.

I also like this Cinnamon tube dessert with honey, quite popular again the Geres area. Forgotten what it's called, but it looks like a cigar with a white sugar coated cover. Very delicious! As you see there is a variety of desserts. I like much more, but this post is too long as it is. Just a snippet of more varieties of deserts, that Sara kindly started of with.


First of: great, big Muito Obrigado to Sara for the invite.
Next: Hi all!

Contrary to what's displayed on the left my name is Jos. (Griesmeel, Dutch for semolina, a nickname I got eating a plate of porridge, sort of rimes with my surname)
I was born and raised in the Netherlands (Hiya 10trackers! :) ) but have recently moved to Portugal (Hiya Sara! :) ) to move in with a wonderful Belarusian girlfriend in Lisbon.

I basically grew up with English on television, everything subtitled. Then in highschool the compulsory booklist for my English exams were so much more interesting than the Dutch one that I stuck with reading in English pretty much exclusively. Of my other language classes German sort of stuck but French never managed to get me interested.
Leaning Portuguese now is tricky, but I think I should just get out more. :)

I studied at a merchant marine academy when the Iron Curtain came down so, via some menial jobs, I ended up a server administrator. Last year, thoroughly fed up with office life and unable to get a job just yet, I moved and am now living of the sale of my house. Not entirely sure how my professional life will look in, say, three years but now I'm taking a serious swing at being a writer

Liking AW is easy, everything you ever wanted to know about writing and were not afraid to ask, and all that in good humour, pleasantly civilized.

How are you finding Lisbon?

Ditto, for enjoying AW. It's a very easy going place. :)


A question to all: Were you yourself raised bi-lingual? I find bi-lingualism of prime importance. People with two or more languages are the actual, and only, bridges between societies that speak different languages. They are the ones that draw communities together. It's so sad that in England today a second language is no longer compulsory in school.


As you know my story, Portuguese was my first language then gradually learnt English whilst in London. Spoke Portuguese with my parents, and with the students in Portuguese school even though they were more drawn to speaking English and spoke English in English school. Luckily had a variety of Portuguese, Spanish speaking friends as a youngster so used my Portuguese with them. I hadn't realized that a second language is no longer compulsory in English school. When did that come about? I learnt French whilst in Secondary school here in England, and it was compulsory and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


I was raised in portuguese only but when we moved to the US I had no choice but to learn english. The place we moved to was basically a community built around the university and many foreign students brought their families over. That meant a few foreign kids at school so every single public school there had a teacher whose sole purpose was to teach english to those kids.

Learning english for me was fairly easy. By Christmas I had grasped the basics and by Easter I was speaking well. I didn't need special classes any more after that one year. At home we always spoke in portuguese.

When we returned, I started two foreign languages in school, one being english (where I usually knew more than the teacher) and the other french. Two years later we only had to do one language. Even though english would be better for my average, I chose french; I ended up with a total of 4 years of french in high school. Reading my dad's huge franco-belgian comic book collection has been one way of not losing the language entirely. ;)

Fast forward a bunch of years and now I have two kids. I try to do english at home but it's not easy. They always speak in portuguese and I forget to reply in english. My youngest specifically asks me not to speak in english. I have to make a very conscious effort to keep at it. My reasoning is that even though they don't really speak it, something stays in there and that is always a good thing.

I've heard/read that languages are easiest to learn when you're a kid, as that's when your brain is more permeable to that information. After adolescence, certain rewiring makes it harder to learn and it gets worse as you age. This is why those who have the opportunity to raise children in a bilingual environment should do so.

Griesmeel, I have met two moms raising children in trilingual environments: one was a hindi, english and portuguese combo, the other was a finnish, french and portuguese combo. These kids tend to learn to talk later than their peers but the end result is so very much worth it.

ETA: Forgot to add I write in english mainly because that's how it comes out. I think my muse is american. :D

That's a wonderful mix of Languages, and it's amazing how children grasp languages and what they would like to speak. Being open to learn and speak the language is always truly a worthwhile experience, even if there are difficulties throughout the course, that is still very much a part of the learning experience. :)


Diver, it's not uncommon for bilingual kids to mix up languages in the same sentence - they eventually sort things out.

I have done that in the past and still do sometimes, mix up words in the languages but that is because I forget the word and then I say it in English or the other way round in Portuguese. It's good, because then someone can correct me and I have a realization moment to help me dig deeper into that understanding of the word.

The joys of being a bi-lingual. :) Wonderful eh!

Eddyz Aquila
07-08-2010, 04:49 PM
This thread makes me hungry.

:D

Griesmeel
07-08-2010, 05:02 PM
Hi Treu.
Thanks for asking.
I think I'll be getting used to Lisbon quite easily. A big city, not my original habitat, but one that is a more relaxed than the others I've seen. If it's up to me I will be living here for a good while and no regrets.

Now I'm hungry... wonder why....
:e2cookie:

truelyana
07-08-2010, 10:09 PM
Hi Treu.
Thanks for asking.
I think I'll be getting used to Lisbon quite easily. A big city, not my original habitat, but one that is a more relaxed than the others I've seen. If it's up to me I will be living here for a good while and no regrets.

Now I'm hungry... wonder why....
:e2cookie:

That is lovely to hear. :) Have you been visiting the main attractions?

And how are you liking the Portuguese food?

Bartholomew
07-10-2010, 01:11 PM
Growing up bi-lingual, I'm not sure if I belong in this thread or not. o.o

aruna
07-10-2010, 01:33 PM
Growing up bi-lingual is better than me: aquired bi-lingual; come on in and play!

Priene
07-10-2010, 08:58 PM
I try to be bilingual, but my children tell me off when I speak German. Apparently my accent's not good enough.

aruna
07-10-2010, 10:33 PM
Well, just jump into our German sandbox and play with us! We can't hear your accent.

Priene
07-10-2010, 11:26 PM
Well, just jump into our German sandbox and play with us! We can't hear your accent.

I schwetze nur schwaebisch.

aruna
07-10-2010, 11:45 PM
dann verstaehscht diesen Witz:

Der Kohl, der Mitterand und der Lothar Spaeth gehen essen ins Restaurant.
Lothar Spaeth will eine Flasche Bordeaux aufmachen. Er haelt die Flasche in der eine Hand und den Flaschenoeffner in der andere, aber anstatt den Flaschenoeffner in den Korken zu schieben, versucht er, mitten durch die Etikette zu bohren.
Kohl und Mitterand schauen erstaunt zu.
"Was machste da, Lothar?" fragt Kohl.
"Es steht doch do," sagt der Lothar Spaeth und zeigt auf die Etikette. "Bohr doh!"

Trans: Helmut Kohl, Francois Mitterand and Lothar Spaeth (Ministerpresident of Baden-Wuerttemberg) go out to dinner in a restaurant. Lothar Spaeth wants to open a bottle of Bordeaux; he holds the bottle in his left hand and the corkscrew in the right but instead of sticking it into the cork he tries to bore right through the bottle's label.
Kohl and Mitterand watch, quite surprised. "What are you doing?" asks Kohl.
"Don't you see?" says Spaeth and points to the label. "It's written there: Bohr Doh! (Bore there)."
(Da for there is pronounced Do in Schwaebisch.)
Hahahaha

Valerie J. Long
07-12-2010, 09:11 PM
@aruna: Aua! :D

Hi, Sara!

Hello to all internationals, Hallo an alle deutschsprechenden Mitschreiber!

Val

whimsical rabbit
07-27-2010, 12:04 AM
Hey guys :hi:

I'm Greek but have been living in the UK for seven years now.

May I join the thread?

:)

SaraP
07-27-2010, 01:08 AM
:hi: Welcome aboard rabbit! :)

Luc2
08-01-2010, 10:46 PM
Hi SarahP,

Thanks for the invitation. i've been away from AW for a while (and writing in general), only to come back and find this great International District. This is fun.

I'm Luc, I am another bilingual as a half Dutch, half Israeli guy. I live in Amsterdam and I guess our delicacies here are limited to some excellent cheeses and a few quite drinkable beers. I'm not complaining.

The amount of information and well-informed people on Aw is staggering, and at times intimidating. But still, it's the best place to come for a focused discussion or info regarding writing and the markets.

I write in English because I write fantasy, and ever since Tolkien, I have almost exclusively read fantasy in English. Translations just sound odd and clumsy, somehow. besiders, I love the English language. It can be very precise and succinct, but also flowing and poetic.

SaraP
08-02-2010, 02:04 AM
:hi: Luc2. Welcome to the District.

I have to say spoken hebrew is one of the languages that fascinates me the most. And I have absolutely fallen in love with the Israeli entries in the European Song Contest.

whimsical rabbit
08-02-2010, 01:37 PM
My WIP and first full-length work is in Greek, but I've been working on that long before I moved to the UK. Now I've started to work on short stories in English and I've received encouraging feedback from creative writing tutors and friends alike :) I have three more full-length ideas outlined so my next novel will definitely be in English.

:)

SaraP
08-02-2010, 01:43 PM
That's great, rabbit. Personally, I enjoy writing in english much more, though occasionally the odd portuguese word will pop up because it fits so much better. ;)

suemont
08-02-2010, 01:47 PM
Do you know? Something's just clicked with me (very slow, that's me). I'm the wrong way round. Everyone on this thread is non-English speaker and I'm an English speaker, just happen to live in Lisbon. Hell's teeth! Don't kick me out! I can speak Portuguese (can't write it coherently though) almost fluently. Does that count? Can I stay?

whimsical rabbit
08-02-2010, 02:56 PM
Do you know? Something's just clicked with me (very slow, that's me). I'm the wrong way round. Everyone on this thread is non-English speaker and I'm an English speaker, just happen to live in Lisbon. Hell's teeth! Don't kick me out! I can speak Portuguese (can't write it coherently though) almost fluently. Does that count? Can I stay?

:Hug2::Hug2::Hug2:

aruna
08-02-2010, 03:08 PM
Do you know? Something's just clicked with me (very slow, that's me). I'm the wrong way round. Everyone on this thread is non-English speaker and I'm an English speaker, just happen to live in Lisbon. Hell's teeth! Don't kick me out! I can speak Portuguese (can't write it coherently though) almost fluently. Does that count? Can I stay?

Eeeek! Me too! I'm an Engliish native speaker who just happened to live in Germany for 30 years! I'm MUCH slower than you!

Luc2
08-02-2010, 06:59 PM
:hi: Luc2. Welcome to the District.

I have to say spoken hebrew is one of the languages that fascinates me the most. And I have absolutely fallen in love with the Israeli entries in the European Song Contest.

Thanks, SaraP

Ugh, the Song Contest. All the neighbors voting for each other, and few good songs win. But the Portugese have Fado. I love that! So strong and melancholic.

suemont
08-03-2010, 07:00 PM
:Hug2::Hug2::Hug2:
Thank you!

suemont
08-03-2010, 07:02 PM
Looks like we can stay Aruna (if we behave ourselves). We're not slow just...um...busy. I guess.

SaraP
08-04-2010, 06:58 PM
Ugh, the Song Contest. All the neighbors voting for each other, and few good songs win. But the Portugese have Fado. I love that! So strong and melancholic.

Thanks, I've been surprised by our own entries, not too bad at all, and definitely a very portuguesish feel to the last ones.

Aruna and suemont (and the rest), you guys are definitely most welcome here. I think there's something about living in a different country and experiencing a different culture that changes you (for the better). The way we think and write and see the world just changes and that's part of the reason why we connect. :)

Rammstein
08-04-2010, 08:20 PM
Sweden here. You need to know anything about my country, let me know.

SaraP
08-05-2010, 01:24 AM
Hi Rammstein, welcome aboard.

There's a swedish (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184824) thread here as well, in case you want to say hi.

mattias
08-06-2010, 11:47 PM
Another Swede here. Contrary to many of you, I would say that I am a non-international person.

Coill
08-22-2010, 11:47 AM
Hi! I see I haven't added myself to this thread yet... I'm a Dutchman, and I have lived around Europe, including several years in London, UK. Recently I have moved to China, where I'll be teaching English. I'm a traveller and can't seem to stay put in any one place for very long.

SaraP
08-22-2010, 09:48 PM
Hi Mattias and Coill. :welcome:

Fresie
08-24-2010, 04:34 PM
Hi guys, great to meet you! What a wonderful forum, thank you, Sara!

I'm a 100% Russian -- ex-Soviet, to be precise :e2bear: so if you have any research questions about that era, I'll be happy to answer them.

I live 50/50 in Russia/France, but I write in English (don't even ask about my French :) ). For some reason, it's easier for me to write in English although I had a few SF/F stories published in Russian, too. It's more practical, too, because the Russian publishing industry is on total hiatus at the moment.

Hugs everyone! :Hug2:

SaraP
08-24-2010, 05:05 PM
Hi Fresie. :hi:

Coill
08-24-2010, 08:39 PM
Hi Fresie! I would be very interested in Russian science fiction authors who have stories published in English (either original or translated). So if you have any recommendations...

Etsi
08-27-2010, 01:22 AM
Goodness! Great thread!

I'm a TCK/A (Third Culture Kid/now Adult), military BRAT, come from a family of southerners on one side and turn of the 20th century immigrants on the other. I relate mostly to my Cherokee and Celtic roots and have been learning Tsalagi. I've lived all over the US and in the Pacific.

SaraP
08-27-2010, 01:39 AM
:hi: Welcome aboard Etsi.

Etsi
08-27-2010, 01:42 AM
Wado! Thank you!

Laquesi
09-03-2010, 10:02 PM
Hi Sara, thanks for the invite!
I'm from Brazil, born and raised in the mid-west, which means I'm really far from all the amazing beaches. But "my" part of the country also has things I love, including great weather (I prefer caustic sun over freezing snow most of the time), great food and nice people. I like to travel a lot, and even though I would like to experience living abroad for a while, Brazil is really my home.
I write in English mainly because of the opportunities for people who write in that language, but I usually write in Portuguese first to translate later, though I have some characters who speak English in my head, for some reason.
One of the reasons I like AW is the diversity of people and cultures here, and how much everybody is so open and welcoming.
And if someone here figures out a way to send baked goods through e-mail, send me some pastéis de nata! Lol.
I might send you some pães de queijo back:

file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/049005371058/Desktop/pao_de_queijo.jpghttp://www.receitinhas.com.br/fotosreceitas/pao_de_queijo.jpg

SaraP
09-04-2010, 01:10 PM
Welcome aboard Laquesi! :hi:

SaraP
12-01-2010, 09:48 PM
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Over at the Suggestion Box thread, Sianshan posted a cool idea (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5555697&postcount=259), but for that I need your help. Please contribute the appropriate dates to this thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=190032). I'm going to sticky it too, and from then on it will be easier to get the ball rolling.

Thanks a lot. :)

Dgaltfan
01-15-2011, 09:28 PM
I live in California for the moment but was born in Hong Kong China. English is my second language, but I am much better at English then I'll ever be in Cantonese Chinese. I can only speak it.

SaraP
01-15-2011, 09:37 PM
There's a Chinese thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184904) here in the District. :)

Purple Rose
02-18-2011, 08:17 AM
Sara you do come with bgreat initiatives for the UN Forum! I've just joined so while this is a very late post from when you first started this, I'm adding another nationality.

I am from Singapore but I now live in paradise (Bali). My parents are from India but iw as raised by a Cantonese nanny (the greatest influence in my life). So, Indian outside, Chinese inside, living in Indonesia.

SaraP
02-19-2011, 01:22 AM
Quite an interesting combo, Purple Rose.

Welcome aboard. :)

Sereneword
02-19-2011, 05:31 PM
I'm Shireen, born in India, raised all over the country ( Dad was a fighter pilot in the Air Force), currently living in New Delhi. India is frankly magical if you're a writer. So many stories, set in such diverse settings with different value sets. Its like an adrenaline shot to the creative faculty of the mind. Amazing, spicy cuisine, Architectural marvels, Diverse geographical environs - beaches, mountains, deserts, rivers, plains, all this and so much more is India.

English is actually more my natural language than Hindi, which is pretty tough to master. In fact very few people can even speak pure Hindi. Cartoons, movies and books...if I'd not been a geeky kid, there'd be no way I'd know English. :)

I'm new to AW, but so far I've been made to feel welcome and have read some really nice posts on a number of thought-provoking, fun and even plain ol' silly topics ;). This is definitely the place for me.

SaraP
02-19-2011, 07:12 PM
Hi Shireen, welcome to the International District. :hi:

aruna
02-19-2011, 07:58 PM
I'm Shireen, born in India, raised all over the country ( Dad was a fighter pilot in the Air Force), currently living in New Delhi. India is frankly magical if you're a writer. So many stories, set in such diverse settings with different value sets. Its like an adrenaline shot to the creative faculty of the mind. Amazing, spicy cuisine, Architectural marvels, Diverse geographical environs - beaches, mountains, deserts, rivers, plains, all this and so much more is India.

.

As a hopelessly addicted Indiaphile I have to agree! All of my published novels are set in or partly in India and I can't wait for my next visit. I even want to retire there. Fantastic country.

Sereneword
02-21-2011, 07:25 PM
Thank you for the welcome Sara!
@Aruna : Interesting, cosmopolitan life you have there. Hope to read some of your work soon! :)

Purple Rose
02-22-2011, 07:21 AM
Thank you for the welcome Sara. Once again, your United Nations forum is fabulous. Some really interesting people around and I think the multi-cultural backgrounds of the members add much colour and a certain spirit to AW as a whole. Also their worldliness to is often noticeable in some of the posts. I personally find it refreshing.

SaraP
02-22-2011, 11:11 PM
Thank you for the kind words. I think it just helps prove how awesome AW is. :)

Sad Soup-eating Girl
02-23-2011, 02:16 AM
Well, I'm Anna, born 1983 in Israel, moved to Germany in 1984, same or next year to Poland, 1986 or so to Ireland, then in 1988 or 89 to Germany, then in 1998 to Belgium and from there, I moved back to Israel at last, last December :)

I speak English (fluent), German (mother), French (fluent), Dutch (fluent), Japanese (very damn decent) and learning Hebrew.

My country is, in my eyes, striking in the following: first off, our people are not polite. They are noisy and use swear words. But they're inyourface and frank, which can be hurtful but better than a knife in the back. We're hot-tempered and warm-hearted, prone to queue-jump or out-park you but there when you really, really need us. No dumb standing by gaping.
The Israeli is very practical and dry, so the humor of movies like Zohan isn't so obvious to the non-Israeli. Strangely, I always "got" Israelis despite having lived abroad all my life.
We always have nice weather and countless cats everywhere. We have charming neighbors. And hot stuff in the army. Girls with guns wherever you look! And jews. Jews are funny.

Liosse de Velishaf
02-23-2011, 03:49 AM
Oh, Japanese, huh?


Any particular reason, since Japan doesn't show up on your list of countries?

Nickie
02-23-2011, 10:24 AM
Hi, I'm Nickie (or Nicole) and I live an work in Dendermonde, Belgium. People tend to know not a lot about this country. Suffice it to say that we don't have a quarrel with our fellow Belgian who speak French, but that most of us feel they are not the same in mind and culture.
My town, Dendermonde, is a medieval one and was given a town charter by my predecessor Count Robrecht de Bethune, Earl of Flanders (don't get any ideas, my forefather was born on the wrong side of the blanket). We have a lot of traditions, one of which is the famous Horse Bayard. It is a wooden horse, made in the 15th century and portrayed the legend of Bayard and the four sons of Aymon, lord of Dendermonde. Apparently, all boys could ride the horse simultaneously. So the wooden horse is a huge structure and very heavy. It needs 12 strong men to carry it along (which happens every ten years, 2010 being the last time). Four brothers dressed in armour sit on top of it.
I write my novels in English because I felt that I'd have more opportunity of getting published in English-speaking parts. In Belgium you have to write crime in order to get published. Other genres just don't sell.
I found AW because an online friend mentioned it, and think it offers great advice for young writers.


Nickie

andreea
07-13-2011, 09:53 PM
As I've lost my post in the outage, I think I'll have to introduce myself again. :D
Hi, everyone, I'm Andreea, yes, double 'e-s', and I'm from Romania. What I love about my country, except its beauty, it's the inventivity and resourcefulness of its people.

One journalist once said as a joke: "we live in Romania and that takes up all of our time." It's soo true. You cannot get bored here.

I adore AW. It's a great comunity. :Hug2:

backslashbaby
07-13-2011, 11:17 PM
Ah, Romanian! All of the Romanians I know are Transilvanian, but that's certainly Romanian, eh? I'm afraid I could only greet you in Hungarian, but I do love trying to read Romanian. I love you guys and your culture :)

My WIP includes strigoi (dunno the plural offhand), among others, btw :)

andreea
07-13-2011, 11:26 PM
Ah, Romanian! All of the Romanians I know are Transilvanian, but that's certainly Romanian, eh? I'm afraid I could only greet you in Hungarian, but I do love trying to read Romanian. I love you guys and your culture :)

My WIP includes strigoi (dunno the plural offhand), among others, btw :)

:hi:
Thanks! Yeap, Transilvania is a part of Romania. I'm afraid I don't speak a word of Hungarian. :)

Strigoi is accepted term for both singular and plural. We have few nouns that are solely used for either singular (milk-lapte for example) or plural (fish eggs- icre). And few others, like strigoi, that can be used as both.

sameerjoad
07-18-2011, 11:43 PM
Hello

I am Sameer born in India, raised up in Qatar, studying in Dubai and planning to move to the US.

About Qatar, well it's a tiny country in the middle east, filled with a large expat community from all around the world. Before we had to associate ourselves with Dubai in order to give an idea about our geographic location, however that changed after we won the bidding rights to world cup 2022. So glad for that!

Anyways even though i am form India i was raised with the English language to break the language barriers among the Arabs, Indians and Westerners here. This is why i write, read, watch, listen, do everything English (the language of course). Life here is similar to that in Dubai except for the major developments.

Why i love AW? Because it is one of the best forums for writers to hang out, so how i could not?

SaraP
07-19-2011, 01:18 AM
Welcome Sameer! :welcome:

(And Andreea, too. :D )

sameerjoad
07-19-2011, 02:06 AM
thank you sara

mar quest
07-19-2011, 10:31 AM
I'm from Puerto Rico, la isla del encanto, but I've been living in OZ for 20 years and before that I lived in the U.S. I went to France on a student exchange program- French was my major at uni. Unfortunately I've forgotten most of it.

I live in Oz and I like it very much, but Puerto Rico will always be my home.

andreea
07-19-2011, 12:30 PM
Thanks, Sara. And welcome everyone! :hi:

SaraP
07-19-2011, 04:22 PM
Welcome aboard mar quest! :hi:

Adagio
10-02-2011, 09:09 AM
What a wonderful thread! Thank you!

I see that the last entry is from July, so here I am now breaking the two months silence.

Like Eddyz and Andreea I am Romanian ( joined the R. thread where I said hello), born and raised there, living in the States for more than 22 years. Yeah, it's been that long, I can't even believe it myself! New York is my home now, working in the City at a big university, and living in the suburbs (according to the purists, I'm not even considered a new-yorker, but who cares, really?)

I was raised bi-lingual (Romanian and French), learned Russian in high-school and a little English picked up along the way, until I hit the customs at JFK airport when the guy at the desk wished me good luck in my new life - I knew then that without learning the language well, I'll never have any luck at all. So I went back to college here for a master degree and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

My WIP is a challenge I gladly embraced, knowing that I will never get published (wrong side of everything, age, language, ferocious competition, you name it). And yet, one dreams!

As you can see from the info below my avatar, I joined AW in 2006, the best literary forum so far. I love it here for a couple of reasons: I could post silly questions and get answers. I critiqued excerpts from other people WIP's (don't hate me!) I was critiqued (my piece shredded to pieces, thank you, thank you!) I learned about grammar and about the writing process more than in any other place, and learned from critiquing. I learned about authors I've never heard before. I love the people here for their erudition, words of encouragement, humor ... for their willingness to share their knowledge and experience (thank you Uncle Jim, Maestrowork and all the others) with newbies. For everything. This is my school, I should say, my international school.

Adagio :e2grouphu you all

Elenitsa
10-02-2011, 07:38 PM
I am Elena, also from Romania, an economist working in the field of EU Affairs, so working in English every day.

I haven;t written literarily in English before discovering roleplaying games - an interactive story several people are writing together. As I am into historical fiction and swashbuckling adventures, of course my site is about pirates, Navy and privateers... We have here people from Europe who aren;t native English speakers too.

In Romanian I have written several novel-length stories. And I am glad to make international friends!

Kriegskanzler
02-22-2013, 02:08 PM
Hi there! I'm Kriegskanzler and I'm a Filipino who currently lives in the Philippines. I learned English ever since I started schooling, as English is part of the Philippine basic education curriculum. Regardless, English still isn't my first language and I still struggle with tenses, particularly perfect tenses as well as the use of active and passive voices. :)

LongevityLetter
03-27-2014, 05:05 PM
Hello, I am from Romania and I started learning English when I was 7. My parents speak only Romanian, even though I tried pressuring them to brush their English :)
I always found readily available English music and later on books, so I got to use this language more and more - I am now writing in English because frankly I am unable to think creatively in any other language...
It started with writing my diary in English - it was a form of ensuring my privacy since nobody at home understood it :D

Moont
05-02-2014, 05:46 AM
Hi! Awesome thread! Thank you! I see no new posts since February!
I'm Moont from Catalonia, Spain. What I love from my country? I don't really know. Maybe its diversity - we have four official languages here, Castillian Spanish, Catalan in Catalonia (north-east), Euskera in Euskadi (North-west) and Gallego in Galicia (west, above Portugal, and quite similar to Portuguese). I dislike the chauvinism of some narrow-minded monolingual Spanish speakers against us bilinguals (since we speak Spanish and our native languages practically since birth, though sometimes we are discriminated against because of our accent when speaking Spanish or because of our non-Spanish surnames, an ugly- lurking remora from Franco's dictatorship times, I'd say) I also dislike the incompetent, corrupt politicians leading our empoverished country and their cheeky disregard for justice among other things. I don't know if I want to become independent, but whenever I hear those bigots speaking so hatefully about us, I wish we were. Though I don't trust Catalan politicians, either, and I can't visualize a Catalan Republic finding its acceptance in Europe. I don't understand this separatism - Aren't we all inhabitants of a single planet? Why not unite, instead of dividing? Maybe I'm a Utopian dreamer.
I love paella, our wines, our cheese, and sangria, and typical dishes from everywhere. I love our traditional dances and music like sardanes, jota, flamenco, bagpipes... Our beaches, our mountains...
I studied Anglo-germanic Philology (but I'm fluent in English and a bit less fluent in German), French and Italian at university, specializing in Comparative Linguistics. I love languages and travelling and meeting people from everywhere. My family are multilingual, too, and we travelled a lot all over Europe in the summer, on holidays, in a caravan. My dad spoke perfect Italian, Mum was our French interpreter, me and my 4 siblings spoke English and some French (but only I could speak some German) and I recall how weird we looked at the camping in Austria singing German songs in Catalan and Spanish! I recall how people stood listening to us sing as if we were some sort of foreing von Trapp Family, because we loved singing and one of my sisters used to play the recorder or the harmonica, as the rest of us sang... and we had a great time singing in any language we knew at the time.
Like LongevityLetter, I also used to write my diary in English to ensure my privacy cos my parents didn't speak English, but alas, my bros and sisters did, since it was compulsory at school, so it was not much use... Until I decided to learn German!
Alas, my daughter is not as language-oriented as I am, but she can get by in English and some French.
Great to learn about all of you!

Amanda Harper
05-05-2014, 10:26 PM
Definitely an excellent thread. Also, the three people from Romania on this page just reminded me of a Romanian in my class at uni who speaks English (and French) with a lovely accent. I just thought I'd put that out there for no reason at all.

I'm Amanda and I'm from France. English is my second language but I learned it in the States as a child and consider myself bilingual. I almost always write in English; French appeals to me a lot less and feels too wordy and clunky. I don't know for sure why that is, but it may be because I read mostly in English. Whenever I find a book in a bookstore that I know has been translated from English, I go online and buy the original version just because I'm snobbish like that.
My all-time-favorite book is French, though (Les Misérables), and I consider myself very lucky to be able to enjoy writers like Dumas and Hugo in their original language, because I can't help but feel that some of the beauty of their writing gets lost in translation. Hugo is probably the first reason I would cite for you all to learn French.:heart: I'd like to learn every language there is to enjoy the literary gems every language has to offer.

As for France itself, well, I can't think of anything to say except that there are a lot of things worth seeing, a lot of French accents worth hearing, a lot of food worth tasting, and a lot of wine and especially champagne worth drinking.

slashedkaze
05-10-2014, 01:40 AM
Hello, I am from Romania and I started learning English when I was 7. My parents speak only Romanian, even though I tried pressuring them to brush their English :)
I always found readily available English music and later on books, so I got to use this language more and more - I am now writing in English because frankly I am unable to think creatively in any other language...
It started with writing my diary in English - it was a form of ensuring my privacy since nobody at home understood it :D


Heheh. I get you on the monolingual parents. I'm kind of glad my mom speaks only German because it keeps her from reading my fiction. :D

Wurm13
05-16-2014, 08:33 AM
Hi All, or Ia Ora Na, which means "May you live!" in our island language. I was made in Holland but have been living the majority of my life elsewhere. Of all the countries I have been able to call "home" while studying and working, it seems I could always hear the islands calling…

I am happily writing my first book with the company of my dog named "Xmas," found on the garbage dump on Christmas day, and at present my most trusted and faithful companion.

Happy to have discovered this community, hoping to learn a lot and maybe even contribute some!